After a long, tiring, and frankly really confusing wait (because, how in the heck is the U.S. vaccinating faster than us?), Canada has finally gotten its act together when it comes to vaccine rollouts: millions of doses are on their way, and most Canadians are expected to be vaccinated by the end of June, instead of September as originally predicted. Which begs the question: When can I get my vaccine and how do I sign up for my dose?
As with many things pertaining to COVID, it’s complicated. Or at least, how and where you sign up to get one of the four vaccines now approved in Canada differs from province-to-province, and sometimes, even within provinces. In Ontario, for example, some health regions have their own signup portals, while others will rely on a province-wide signup method set to launch March 15. Here, Refinery29 has rounded up all the resources you need to make your appointment — and receive your vaccine — as seamlessly as possible.
(FYI, many parts of Canada are still in the first phase of vaccinations, meaning they’re administering them to Canadians older than 80, as well as other vulnerable populations. Stay tuned to your province or territory's official announcements to find out when you can start booking your vaccine. Hot tip: There’s no use signing up beforehand, it won’t work!)
Editor's note: This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
How to sign up for your vaccination in...
Not sure when it’ll be your turn to get vaccinated? You can sign up online to be notified when each group is released. It’s broken down by age group, profession (i.e. frontline workers), and vulnerability. Check on the provincial immunization booking page for the most up-to-date info on which groups are currently eligible for the vaccine. (FYI, as of March 10, the province is offering bookings for Albertans 75+ who'll receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Residents who are between the ages of 50 to 64 and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people aged 35 to 49 with no chronic illnesses are eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine — the latest to be approved in Canada).
As of March 8, seniors over the age of 90 (or Indigenous citizens 65 and older) are able to start booking their vaccine appointments for March 15. Which means your grandpa can reserve a spot by calling his local health authority. There are five of these health authorities across the province and you can find a list of numbers to call on the province’s vaccine website. (Call centres are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.) Those who live in the Fraser Health Unit can book online as well.
FYI: When you call your health authority, you’ll be asked to provide your full name, date of birth, postal code, and personal health number.
Like B.C. residents, Manitobans can book via phone, by calling the provincial vaccine call centre at 1-844-626-8222 anytime between 6 a.m and 8 p.m. For those looking to see when they may be eligible for a vaccine, try the province’s handy vaccine queue calculator. More info on an online booking system is set to come. Head's up: Manitoba is currently vaccinating individuals over the age of 80 , Indigenous citizens 60 and older, and healthcare and certain community workers.
New Brunswick, one of the slowest provinces to roll out vaccines, is currently in the first stage, focusing on frontline workers and vulnerable populations like those in long-term care and adults 16 and over in Indigenous communities. Details on how the greater public will be able to register will be released as priority groups are vaccinated. Watch this space.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada’s easternmost province received the first doses of the vaccine in December 2020 and, like in most of Canada, officials have been administering them to older populations first. If you or a loved one is over the age of 70, you can pre-register for an appointment. Once pre-registered, Public Health will contact you with a time or information about vaccine clinics in your area. FYI, pre-registration is currently only for people 70 and older. Once people in Phase 1 are vaccinated, Phase 2 groups, like first responders and vulnerable populations, will begin their vaccination process in April. Phase 3 booking for the general public will be available online or by phone (date TBD), and is set to begin in July — with more info to come.
The NWT has been vaccinating its high-risk population in more remote communities since the beginning of January. Yellowknife residents — whose vaccinations started at the beginning of March — can book through the province’s online portal. Live outside the capital? Refer to the province’s schedule of vaccine dates and contact your corresponding local health centre to book an appointment or see if walk-ins are being taken.
As of this week, Nova Scotians who are 80 or older can begin booking their appointments via the province’s online booking system. Those who may need help booking or live in Nova Scotia but don’t have a health card, can call 1-833-797-7772. Next in line are more priority groups, like pharmacists, those responsible for food security, and doctors and nurses who work in the community.
Eligible residents will book their first and second doses, administered 105 days a part, at the same time.
The government of Nunavut doesn’t have a centralized vaccine sign-up system. Residents can find the open dates for vaccine appointments via their community health centre or on the government of Nunavut website. While some communities, like Igloolik, are accepting walk-ins, it’s best to call your community health centre to book an appointment.
FYI, vaccination is well underway for many communities in the territory. In certain communities, like Iqaluit, people aged 18-44 can call to make an appointment for their first dose.
As of Monday, March 26, Ontarians 75 and over can book via their public health unit website. How this works differs by unit. For example, in Durham region, the health department is releasing small batches of appointments at a time online for people over 75, Indigenous adults, adult recipients of chronic home care, staff, residents, and caregivers at long-term care homes, and high priority healthcare workers. In Sudbury, however which falls under a different public health unit, residents are being asked to pre-register online at Public Health Sudbury & Districts. Meanwhile, in Toronto, eligible residents (aged 70+) can book or pre-register online.
In addition, select pharmacies in Kingston, Toronto, and Windsor are now booking appointments via phone for the AstraZeneca vaccine. This will be available for Ontarians between the ages of 60 and 64. And on April 7, the government announced that all education workers and individuals 18+ who live in high-risk transmission areas in Toronto and Peel region, are eligible to receive the vaccine.
The good news for everyone who stopped reading in frustration? The province has just implemented a province-wide booking system that allows all eligible people in all public health units to find info on how to make an appointment in one place. It's worth noting that, as of yet, you can't actually book your appointment via the site, but rather, it'll direct you to the best means to do so (ie: provide you with the phone number or website link to book with your public health unit).
Prince Edward Island
Islanders over the age of 80 are currently being vaccinated through early April. Once these residents are inoculated, the next eligible group can book appointments one of three ways: through the province’s online portal, by registering online to receive a callback and help with booking, or by calling 1-844-975-3303.
Since mid-February, residents of Quebec who are 85 or older have been eligible to book a vaccine appointment. You can sign up via the province’s registration website, or, if you’re unable to access or use a computer, you can call 1-877-644-4545 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekends. (Although Health Minister Christian Dubé is encouraging Canadians to go the virtual route, if possible, to avoid long wait times).
Currently vaccinating only high-risk populations, Phase 2, which is aiming to vaccinate the general population in 10-year increments, is set to begin in April (although it’s dependent on vaccine delivery). Once it begins, appointments will be booked through the province’s website or by calling HealthLine 811. We’ll update you when that happens.
Residents of Whitehorse can book their first and second dose appointments through the province’s appointment website. If you live outside of the capital, there are several communities that are already vaccinating the general public — check the government website for available dates and links online booking.